Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government on Wednesday sought an additional package of Rs 4,000 crore from the Centre to carry out rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the disaster-hit areas of the hill state.
In a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Rawat said the state is struggling hard to overcome the effects of last year's natural calamity and needs an additional assistance of Rs 4000 crore for rehabilitation and reconstruction in affected areas.
The Chief Minister also asked the Union Minister to expedite release of funds worth Rs 450 crore assured to the state in the wake of tragedy separately under Special Plan Assistance (Rs 350 crore) and Untied funds (Rs 100 crore).
Besides these, Rawat also demanded extension for another three years the period of tax rebates given to the state following the disaster, interest waiver on bank loans for two financial years to people associated with agriculture and tourism related trades in affected districts.
Rawat also asked for a one time assistance of Rs 1000 crore for preparations in view of 2016 Ardha Kumbh to be held on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar.
Pointing out that nearly 5 crore devotees are likely to converge on the banks of the Ganga for 2016 Ardha Kumbh, he said infrastructural facilities need to be recreated over a vast fair area spread over Haridwar, Dehradun, Tehri and Pauri districts for which an assistance of Rs 1000 crore is needed separately.
The rehabilitation and reconstruction exercise in affected areas is underway for over a year now but as per revised estimates an additional assistance of Rs 4000 crore is needed to carry it out properly, Rawat said in the letter.
Asking the Union Minister to expedite release of funds approved for the state under SPA and Untied Fund he said DPRs projects identified under these schemes have already been made available to the Centre.
Noting that the successful conduct of Char Dham Yatra this year has generated confidence among people but it will take at least 4-5 years more to create jobs for locals in affected areas, the Chief Minister said it will not be possible without generous and whole hearted support from the Centre.